Fremont, CA – April 13, 2021 – Blackmagic Design today announced that the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), a major theater company, implemented a live, multicamera production based upon the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 and ATEM Television Studio Pro HD switcher to keep theater goers entertained.
Based in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, the RSC is known across the world and, before the pandemic, produced around 20 productions a year. The RSC played regularly in London, Stratford-upon-Avon, and on tour in the UK and internationally.
RSC’s Mark Kendrick says, “Our doors closed in March last year, and so far, we have been unable to reopen them to the public. With our doors set to remain closed through the winter, we looked to a digital first approach and live streaming a series of plays performed on our main stage.”
The festival opened with a celebration of The Boy in The Dress, an adaptation of David Walliams’ book. The festival also features plays for public audiences and educational organizations, including adaptations of Shakespeare’s work by acclaimed author Michael Morpurgo.
“One of the main challenges was, how do we give those productions the same buzz and feel as live theater?” explains Kendrick. “We had to create a workflow that combined our existing theater knowledge and practices with the principles of broadcast.”
“We pride ourselves on world class theater production,” adds Kendrick. “Whatever we did had to match the high standards our audiences have come to expect from us.”
He continues: “We decided to film each performance from the audience’s perspective, which meant getting out into the stalls. Every production has been slightly different, and so we adapted the camera positions to suit. However, as a general rule, we had two operated URSA Mini Pro cameras located centrally in the stalls, and a third provided an angled shot from the stage side. We also relied on the Micro Studio Camera 4K to capture wide shots of the stage and auditorium.”
Actors now play to the camera instead of the house. “This has proved challenging in certain respects,” explains Kendrick. “As there is also an obligation to keep the cast and crew safe and socially distanced. We also found that we had to approach lighting the stage differently to ensure we still got a quality look on screen.”
All the cameras are connected over SDI, routed to a Smart Videohub 12G 40×40, and vision mixed via an ATEM Television Studio Pro HD.
Kendricks says, “The image quality from the URSA cameras is exceptional and we are impressed with their build quality and reliability; the cameras often run for more than 12 hours a day, yet never miss a beat. The workflow and integration with the software control and HyperDeck Studio Pro recorders allow us to create macros which made hitting show cues seamless.”
“Our knowledge and understanding of how to capture live theater has grown considerably, and this has opened up ideas and conversations about what is possible to us post Covid,” concludes Kendrick. “We will always be a live venue, but this new knowledge could pave the way to reaching more audiences worldwide in the future.”
Product photos for Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2, ATEM Television Studio Pro HD, Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K, Smart Videohub 12G 40×40, Teranex Mini Converters, HyperDeck Studio Pro, and all other Blackmagic Design products are available at www.blackmagicdesign.com/media/images.
About Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.
About The Royal Shakespeare Company
The Royal Shakespeare Company creates theater at its best, made in Stratford-upon-Avon and shared around the world. We produce an inspirational artistic program each year, setting Shakespeare in context, alongside the work of his contemporaries and today’s writers.